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Actias Luna
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4,228 Posts
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I learn new lessons every year I grow a garden. Maybe someday I will know it all. :upsidedown: Here is what I have learned so far this year:

1. I can grow some really nice weeds without effort.

2. When weeding, only weeds come up with 2 pounds of dirt firmly attached to the roots. The veggies release easy, especially when I don't mean to pull on them.

3. Small cucumbers might be cute and look nice in the jar, but they taste bad.

4. Although the recipe didn't say so, you must weight the cucumbers down when fermenting or mold will grow and you will waste the whole batch.

5. Manure is black gold.

6. Peppers fall if you are a rammy person. No peppers for you, bull in the china shop!

7. Sometimes, there is good reason a seed is heirloom. Thank you, Charentais melon, for taking up 1/2 of a bed and putting out no fruit.

8. Tomato blight is really fast. Next year I will be faster.

Now your turn. What have you learned?
 

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Just the facts, Ma'am.
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2,070 Posts
1) Cold weather crops are called that for a good reason.

2) Growing small amounts of corn stinks.

3) Corn needs to be tied up especially when you grow corn and pole beans together. The corn won't stand back up.

4) Corn is evil.

5) Having your soil tested is imperative.

6) Hardening off plants you grow from seed is not a myth. You really have to do it.

7)Growing peas in a square foot garden makes harvesting interesting, especially when you're counting on your daughter to help. She's fearful of spiders, and insects in general.

8) If the name of a bean includes, "half-runner," but the package says they are bush beans, believe the name and trellis them.

9) Weed every bed once a week whether it needs it or not.

10) Never be afraid to experiment!

11) Did I mention that corn is evil?
 

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1. Planting an acorn squash in a area that the dogs peed in even after the dirt was changed out, causes the foliage to grow huge and no fruit (will see if the added lime helps)

2. Second year in a row that I can't grow zucchini in a large planter..again, soil issues (blossom rot..will see if the lime works)

3. Huge acorn squash plant is crowding out the cucumbers. I don't want to pull it out cuz it is pretty looking, but I just might so the cucumbers can grow.

4. If you leave cherry tomatoes lay on the ground from last fall cuz the snow came too early and you couldn't pick them up, they do grow new tomato plants.

5. I will do raised beds next year and add alot of manure

6. All kinds of weeds grow where I don't want them

7. Grass will grow great in my garden, but not on my lawn
 

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My Temperature is Right
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5,578 Posts
I learned that you can't pull stumps with a subaru.

When you wife says "plant radishes- I like them" she's full of it.

all your plum tomatoes ripen at the same time.

The black walnut tree from hell will drop limbs on your bean trellis in the slightest wind.

Two 100 deg heat waves and I'm still getting green beans, I never expected that.
 

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1. I must NOT rely upon my memory of what type bean I "shelled" and popped into their own individual cute jars for planting this spring.

2. I learned that I must label each jar with type of bean seed it contains.

3. after watching my beanpods develope over the last several weeks "they all LOOK alike" !!

4. Did I mention that those cute jars now have bean identification labels on them?

5. Now know for certainity that the offspring of the castaway beans I tossed into the backboonies of my yard last spring WILL sprout and produce more bean pods!

6. as an experiment last spring, I planted some onions that had sprouted while hiding under the sink. store bought onions will produce a "seed head"(?) and yes I did have onions reappear in my garden patch this spring Would have been good to if I hadnt have roto-tilled them under.

7.learned also that the peach pits saved from " shipped up to yankee land from the deep south" will not sprout . Thats ok tho ,theres still the apple orchard with lanes of "no spray" maybe these will work.

8. Never leave anything that u plan on planting in the garden "as an experiment" on the kitchen counter when family members are over and help u with cleaning up from a cook out.. sisters threw out the potatoes that were sprouting(their ancestors were store bought potatoes)

9 Most important lesson I learned in last 2 months? LOL never give up on green peppers!! after 5 yrs of trying to get em to survive let alone be able to pick a pepper, Ive finally succeeded!!!
 

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Knowledge is Power
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177 Posts
If you plant pole beans and corn at the same time, and the corn does not grow for whatever reason, have a backup plan to trellis the beans or you will get a giant mat of beans.

Tomatoes only pull nutrients from the two leaves below the fruit and the tomatoes only fruit at each spot on the stem once. When you have picked the tomatoes, trim off all leaves below the next tomato except the two directly below it.

Tomato suckers can be stuck directly in the dirt to grow new plants. Don't buy 45 seedlings at once. Get 2-3 and then transplant the suckers to fill the garden.

You can plant squash and okra in the same area. The squash should be 18-24 inches apart in a square pattern and the okra can be planted in the center of the squares. The okra will grow tall and not be shaded by the squash and since the squash sets early and the okra a little later, you get two crops in the same spot.

Compost everything.

When you plant your seedlings, surround them with newspapers as a ground cover and then spread out wheat straw. I have weeded less this year than I ever have before.
 

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Prep and be calm
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464 Posts
Mulch everything. I never used enough mulch until this year.

Mulch can be made from any plant residue and everything can be recycled into the soil with enough time. Large woody plant debris goes down first topped by softer material to make rows and pathways of mulch. If you top it off with grass clippings they will dry and make the whole pile look attractive.

Its a LOT easier to put down mulch and let it compost on the spot than it is to haul it to a compost bin and then turn the compost.

Weeds are good mulch if pulled before they set seed. Still ok but more trouble if they have. Bundle pulled weeds and give their stems a twist to bruise them so they start composting fast, then lie them down between the plants for a mulch layer.
 

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Read the instructions on the 1.99 starter plants from lowes, that 4' separation between plants is 4 feet not 4 inches. it's amazing how much stuff I have "growing" in my 4x8.

Did I mention growing? yeah I mean the plants not the vegies.
 

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I learned that staking Yukon Gold Potatoes is an absolute MUST. A moderate wind blew them all over and instead of three nice rows I have a tangled mess of potato plants with some of them already dying due to lack of sun.

I learned that square foot gardening doesn't mean that you should plant as much as you can as close together as you can. I had a green pepper plant and a few others get completely choked out.

I learned that cucumbers don't play nicely with other plants in a square foot situation, they need their own raised bed next year.
 

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Make sure your tomato plants don't provide too much shade for your peppers, or else you'll have to wait until you pull said tomatoes from the garden and the peppers get enough sun before you get ANY peppers. :xeye:

Check your compost bin every day to make sure it hasn't dried out too much.

Manure, manure, manure. It's a wonderful thing.

Taking out oleander stumps can be quite painful.

It's easier to use the hula hoe regularly for a few weeds at a time than to wait until the whole dang yard needs to be done. To be fair we had only weeds when we moved in last spring.

If you live in a hot climate, get out there and water/weed/harvest before the sun comes up.

Tomato worms are disgusting.
 

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Homesteader / Workershare
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1,660 Posts
I learned I should start grouping all my cool weather crops together so I can dig that bed first and get them in on time.

I learned I didn't learn my lesson last year about exactly how much space spaghetti squash demand :D

I learned quinoa look almost exactly like lambs quarters. I'm pretty sure I pulled all mine out last year thinking they looked like weeds. I gave them the benefit of the doubt this year because they came up in neat little rows but got very confused when doppelgangers started popping up throughout the yard.

I learned it works well to grow salad greens in spaces that are purposely left open in spring...like where cucumbers or melons will be vining later in the year. Helped me fit a little more in this year.
 
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